Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Wednesday (March 20) secured the guilty plea of a Central City man responsible for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist, six armed robberies and 20 other assorted crimes committed both in and out of jail.
Alvin Berfect, 29, admitted guilt to the 27 criminal counts he faced as part of a plea agreement that concludes four separate cases. Criminal District Judge Franz Zibilich is expected to impose a 33-year prison term when Berfect is sentenced on March 29.
Berfect admitted to a prolific crime spree that included the robberies of six people at gunpoint in December 2016 in locations ranging from Uptown New Orleans to the Faubourg Marigny. Also included was a guilty plea to manslaughter in connection with the death of French Quarter sous chef Eddie Ray King on Nov. 7, 2016.
King, 51, was biking home from work shortly after midnight when he was struck and fatally injured by Berfect, who was driving a stolen car and fled the scene near the intersection of North Claiborne Avenue and St. Philip Street in Treme. King had ascended from line cook to sous chef during his nearly three years at the Doris Metropolitan steakhouse.
In addition to the manslaughter and six armed robbery counts, Berfect also pleaded guilty as a double felony offender to two counts of felony illegal possession of stolen things, seven misdemeanor counts of illegal possession of stolen things, three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of attempted access device fraud, two counts of obstruction of justice, one count of second-degree battery, two counts of introducing contraband into a correctional center, and two counts of possession of contraband inside a correctional center or jail (a shank and handcuff key in one case and marijuana in another).
“This defendant has shown no regard for the safety of others or for obeying the law,” Cannizzaro said. “He recklessly and needlessly took the life of Mr. King, used a gun to terrify and rob several other people, and has continued posing a serious danger to others while in custody. I am very pleased to see him removed from this community for the next three decades so that he cannot cause harm to another innocent victim.”
Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Tucker prosecuted the case.
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